7 Civic Tech Startups That Are Forging an Engaged Future

| Jibran Malek


2014 was a fantastic year for Civic Tech entrepreneurship. Every year, more and more startups seek innovative ways to enhance the experience of citizens in cities for a digital age. This year, several MassChallenge startups sought to impact their communities through Civic Tech.

This year, 7 of these 128 startups applied to Microsoft’s $50k Civic Technology Prize through MassChallenge. Here are some awesome startups that are in the running to win $50k on October 29th!


98d3c95828cfe0fdb27977d71f6f6bd3What do they do?
D-Orbit sells smart propulsive end-of-life devices for satellites: more revenues for operators, no more debris.

How will they help citizens?
As we move closer to a space-age renaissance, we have to make sure the skies are clear from the attempts of the past. D-Orbit has developed a system to remove space junk that is currently in orbit, decreasing the chance of collision and keeping everyone on the ground safe from debris. This is especially beneficial for Governments seeking space-aged solutions to ground-based problems.

Hablando Con Julis

HbablandoWhat do they do?
Hablando con Julis is the solution for people with special needs. Speaking with Julis allows communication for the disabled and enhances learning skills.

How will they help citizens ?
Millions of people are excluded from engaging with public activity due to communication or learning deficiencies. Hablando Con Julis is developing innovative software that will allow these people to help everyone in a society be understood and to contribute to the civil conversation.

Kinems Learning Games

kinemsWhat do they do?
Kinems offers engaging and effective learning experiences for children with learning disabilities like autism via personalized Kinect games.

How will they help citizens ?
School dropouts can potentially cost the United States billions of dollars in lost in productivity. Kinems seeks to ease the frustration that children with learning disabilities have with traditional schooling methods by making learning fun while promoting their cognitive development development using Microsoft Kinect.


74227_458478024227119_832861271_nWhat do they do?
EdTrips helps field trip venues manage their visitors and reach more teachers.

How will they help citizens?
It’s incredibly important for the government engage with American citizens in their youth in order to create the future’s engaged public actors. This can easily be done via school field trips to government facilities, museums, and departments. EdTrips makes field trips easy and drives more visitors to educational destinations by consolidating the booking and payment of trips among multiple locations and services.

Using their technology, EdTrips can partner with public organizations and make field trips drastically more efficient, creating more curious and engaged students.


lengioWhat do they do?
Lengio revolutionizes English learning with software that offers personalized English courses built from users’ content: docs, movies, etc.

How will they help citizens ?
One incredibly daunting barrier to entry to immigrants in American society is the language barrier. Poor English speaking skills for many immigrants means that many of these citizens don’t get properly represented in government. This leads to an unfortunate chain reaction of policy created by those that don’t represent their interests that makes it even more difficult for them to engage in the future.

Lengio’s language-learning platform that user’s can customize helps facilitate long-term understanding and better equips these disadvantaged immigrants with a voice to effect change in their communities.


OpportunitySpaceWhat do they do?
OpportunitySpace is an online marketplace & community for real estate development and investment opportunities. We streamline access to knowledge and people to accelerate urban

How will they help citizens?
Land is finite, and increased development has has limited the opportunities for real estate. There are so many unused spaces that could be better used, but the data is incredibly hard to find.

OpportunitySpace translates hard to understand data into action for citizens and investors to democratize urban development and spur reinvestment.


mFF3Q1gOWhat do they do?
Twiage connects ambulances to ERs w/ real-time data, EKGs, GPS, to save precious time, cut waste from $350K/yr, and improve patient outcomes.

How will they help citizens?
Twiage will make sure no time or lives are wasted thanks to communication failures between paramedics and emergency care. Twiage ensures that doctors have the most updated and relevant data on incoming patients so they can prepare optimized care for those whose lives are in danger, saving thousands of lives and millions of dollars in the process.

At MassChallenge, we’re incredibly excited to partner with Microsoft to see these unique ideas to create a better and more connected society grow through the $50k Civic Tech Prize. See them all at the MassChallenge Awards Ceremony on October 29th!

Jibran Malek is MassChallenge’s Social Media Coordinator. Jibran runs MassChallenge’s social media and content campaigns to ensure the entire world knows about what’s going on in the startup accelerator and to amplify the amazing stories MassChallenge startups experience on a daily basis.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,